Increasing rail freight traffic points to an improving Long Island economy, say the operators of the Brookhaven Rail Terminal in Yaphank.
The number of freight cars arriving at the 30-acre rail facility rose by nearly 10 percent last year, climbing from 2,649 incoming rail cars in 2020 to 2,908 last year, according to BRT President Andrew Kaufman.
Last year’s shipments, which included building supplies, flour, biofuel and more, almost matched the 2,938 freight cars that arrived at the rail terminal in 2019, before the pandemic impacted business here.
“These numbers offer genuine insight into the health of our Long Island economy because shipments are based on market demand,” Kaufman said in a company statement. “The 2021 count compares to 2020 when we saw 2,649 incoming rail cars as the economy cooled and supply chain issues became apparent. What these latest numbers reflect is that the Island’s economy is resilient and has regained the momentum it lost when COVID dictated the health of the market.”
Many companies use BRT to ship commodities by rail and store them in warehouse facilities on the property, as an alternative to bringing them to market by truck. Outgoing rail shipments off Long Island continue to be largely used oil destined for out-of-area refining facilities.
The terminal operators estimate that shipping by rail eliminated the need for 12,735 trucks to deliver goods in the region in 2019, the last year that statistic was available.